Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Singapore, a country where you say one thing at one place, another at another place

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Any visitor to Singapore would be surprised at a sudden disinterest in anyone, the moment the topic of politics is raised, surprising given the fact that outwardly it seems like any other prosperous Western city.

Remember despite it's outward appearances of normalcy, Singapore has no free press. Just like the Soviet Union, it is all state controlled. The reason why you haven't heard of any protests or demonstrations is not because everyone is happy; it is because these things are illegal. There are no strikes because they are not only illegal, the unions are all controlled, believe it or not, by the state. Judges appear on the outside to be like they are anywhere else, with their robes and books. But in truth Singapore judges are not judges in the true sense, they are politicians in Lee Kuan Yew's party, who destroy political dissidents and detractors by abusing the law.

There are no jury trials, with judges alone deciding. And if the ruling party does not like you, the judge is either promptly notified or they act on their own, and you know you have lost even before stepping into the courtroom. Whenever Lee Kuan Yew or his government charges someone in court, it is certain he is guilty of all the charges, no two ways about it.

Although many Singaporeans disgusted with living under the Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship have left for settlement abroad in Western countries, many still remain in Singapore for one reason or another. Some do not have the skills for settlement abroad or for family or personal reasons remain behind.

Those who remain behind have no choice but to live double lives. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's dictator who has governed the country with an iron fist for the last 52 years has a large Internal Security Department or secret police, not dissimilar to the Tonton Macout of Haiti or the Mukabarat of Assad's Syria, who mingle among the citizenry listening to what people say, some of whom are then targeted for victimization one way or another. You could say, Lee Kuan Yew rules Singapore through fear just like Syria's Assad rules through his Mukabarat.

Which is why Singaporeans have no choice to live a life, saying one thing in one place and another in some other.

If you were to ask a Singapore lawyer what does he think about Singaporeans having no rights to peaceful protest, no right to free speech and expression, all clear violations of the Constitution, matters which are pertinent to lawyers all over the world, his answer will depend on who you are and where the conversation takes place.

If you were a foreigner and did not know you, or if you were a government official or a stranger, then the answer would probably be either that he does not know these things, he is not interested in the subject or that these laws are necessary because Singapore was small and was good for stability.

On the other hand, if you were a personal friend of his and he could trust you, the answer would probably be that Lee Kuan Yew was a ruthless dictator who has these laws in place to oppress the people, these laws are all wrong, that he hates Lee's party, the PAP and would wish that they would all drop dead the next minute.

It is the same with every other Singaporean. Schoolchildren are told by their parents to say nice things of the Lee Kuan Yew government. In private they would curse this government and the dictatorship that run it sky high.

People either go around silent, avoiding these issues or if necessary saying things that they don't believe in one bit, but politically correct. I guess it was the same in the former Soviet Union, present day China, N Korea, Cuba and Singapore. I suppose a Russian would have praised Stalin even though he personally considered him the biggest criminal.

If you don't like all this, you can if you want leave Singapore. That is what many others like myself have done. Singapore today has one of the highest rates of emigration in the world, the lowest birth rate in the world and a fast ageing population.

Among the population, the majority are no longer local born resulting from the government's policy of bringing in ship loads of Chinese from Mainland China to populate the dying population. These recent Chinese arrivals have nothing to say about these things one way or another since they don't know Singapore.

If you want to live in a country where you can say the same thing any where then leave Singapore, for otherwise you have to constantly do this mental gymnastics to avoid arrest or state victimization.

Especially for your children, if you want them to live in a country where they don't have to say one thing at one place and another at another, then leave Singapore for free country. Having to live a life like this is a terrible thing.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Blog: http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to nair.gopalan@yahoo.com And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.


Anonymous said...

A truly heartfelt essay, and sadly very accurate.

Anonymous said...

One study published in 2008 in the Archives of Ophthalmology compared 6- and 7-year-old children of Chinese ethnicity living in Sydney, Australia, with those living in Singapore. The rate of nearsightedness in Singapore (29 percent) was nearly NINE times higher than in Sydney. The rates of nearsightedness among the parents of the two groups of children were similar, but the children in Sydney spent on average nearly 14 hours per week outside, compared with just three hours per week in Singapore.


Anonymous said...

In Singapore,there is quite a number of citizens SAY on thing here and DOING the other thing there, just like Lee Kuan Yew and his P.A.P.Government.
A very typical true example would be (during the elections)these citizens will declare to themselves and to others not to vote for P.A.P but when they are secretly at the ballot box they become like zombies, and vote for the the P.A.P.
Thank you.

ANiceGuy said...

Well said, Gopalan. I agree that people who truly desire dignity and integrity should leave Singapore. This is a great proposal for all.

Leaving SG is the ultimate vote of no confidence in the government, which can be exercised anytime. Both brain drain and capital flight occurs, which will pressure the Government to review and change its policies. This is more effective, efficient and practical compared to civil disobedience and protesting.

Jackomo Finanae-- IKO! said...

All Singaporeans living in Singapore, please take heed:

The troubles you are facing in Singapore are either your fault or your parents’ fault. Let me explain. I grew up in that blasted country I do not want to call “my country.” So much pain and suffering, that I fled to the west and am a happy US citizen and am PROUD to call it my own, unlike Singapore, which is where I was born. Yes, US has its problems, but is a paradise compared to Singapore, as are other western democracies.

Please note, immigration borders are tightening and these days it is getting increasingly difficult to emigrate. There was a time when borders were so open, but you or your parents made the foolish mistake not to take advantage of it and trusted LKY and his PAP stooges.

If you were born in the 50s, 60s, 70s, up until 1980, SHAME ON YOU. You had the opportunity to leave, but chose to stay and bitch and bitch and do nothing. Yes, you would have faced consequences like JBJ or Chee Soon Juan, if you squeaked a dissent, do, but who stopped you emigrating and leaving this police state for good?

Those of you born after 1985, I am sorry, you are not to blame, you are too young and were born too late to emigrate. Blame your parents for their foolishness in keeping faith with Singapore and the PAP and LKY and making you suffer like this. Foolishness is all it is, sorry to say that….

Those of you who are left in Singapore, your only hope is to migrate to the few countries with slightly more friendly borders like New Zealand etc. Perhaps try Eastern Europe etc and then try to slowly move into other places. Tough yes, but borders are shutting down in other countries in the western world where English is the main language, sad to say

I was born a few decades ago; my parents, bless their hearts, could have done soooo much better for themselves and my siblings had they left earlier. They had multiple opportunities to leave. Like typical Singaporeans, they ignored these overseas opportunities, trusted the PAP and voted them; and then kept on complaining afterwards. I was the youngest and the only son. After they saw first hand the pain and brutalities my peers and I suffered in National Slavery (I.e “National Service”), they suddenly woke up and emigrated. Fortunately for them (and my siblings), borders were still open. I followed them and moved to the US. They express so much regret that they did not move earlier….

I knew growing up in the 70s and 80s Singapore, that the people were getting squeezed. It was getting WORSE in the early 90s and we all knew that by the new millennium, things will be unbearable. In the 80s and early 90s, emigrants were purjaratorily referred to in Singapore as “disloyal,” now they are called “quitters. Call us what you like, we have a better life here in the west and life in Singapore sucks. That is the bottom line. “West is definitely the best,” when compared to Singapore, REGARDLESS what the Strait Times propaganda blares on a daily basis. Please forget the propaganda and open your eyes to reality….

You face foreign talent competition, rising costs, an iron-fisted government, no freedom, low wages and high cost of living, nepotism and many other ills. My question is could you not see this coming? What did you expect? Yes, these were there before, but could you not have seen that the PAP will only get more and more brazen and hold your lives to ransom?

Sooo sorry guys, you or your parents made a fatal mistake not emigrating when opportunities beckoned in the 70s, 80s and even until the end of the century. In this new era of the 21st century, borders are tighter and immigrants are less and less welcomed. I am very sorry and I feel for you. Sad but true…! These days emigration from Singapore is likely to remain a dream for most! I am sorry that you did not leave earlier as I mentioned.

Jackomo Finanae-- IKO!

Gopalan Nair said...

To Jackomo,
Emigration is not as hard as you seems to think. It is still very possible. Today as before it is mainly based on skills. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA and several European countries continue to require skilled people. For instance large numbers of nurses and doctors in Germany are from the Philippines. USA needs graduates with scientific skills. Also it is pretty easy for someone to go abroad as a student and then get a job there. Investors are also welcome as well as those who marry a foreigner. It is still possible to go if you want to but it does take a bit of research and the desire. Good luck.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Aniceguy,
There is no better way to bring about change than through civil disobedience. But these things over time also weakens the government which will fall eventually. As we speak, the local population continues to shrink with the other problems causing too much pressure on them. It is regime in a tailspin.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad what Singapore is becoming and it does not feel like home anymore. I lived in Australia for about 3 years, and upon returning to Singapore in 2004, I was then struggling with a low pay job at $1700 as a degree holder. Eventually I moved to Dubai in 2006 and live there for 5 years. Only just returned last October, I have so much difficulty finding new work. The market here is either looking for finance, IT related and mainly for fresh graduates. I do not think I am old at 34 until I am back here. I should have done more research before moving back. According to local news, I thought Singapore has improved and is easy to get a job. Am i suppose to work as a retail assistant, waitress etc? I try not to complain so much but really see no point living here. Whatever savings you have been saving so hard will just dry up in 6 months with the cost of living here. I am even thinking of taking a Diploma in TESOL so I can move to other countries. Again, most non english countries prefer native speaker. I have not much savings for entering into other countries for investing. What other options can you advise for me to move on and move out of Singapore. I don't think I can live in such a crowded place, trains malls etc. Mr Nair I really admire what you have done and get out of here. Honestly in my early 20s I saw lots of racism in chinese companies. Very sad as we are all Singaporeans but not protecting each other. What so great about foreign talents here.